Santa Rosa man on probation for DUI suspected of DUI hit-and-run crash

The 24-year-old struck a traffic pole in downtown Petaluma and then fled the scene with a passenger early Saturday.|

A 24-year-old man on probation for drunk driving was arrested in Petaluma early Saturday morning after he slammed into a traffic pole and fled the scene on foot, police said.

Francisco Mendez of Santa Rosa and a passenger were found near Petaluma Boulevard South and C Street, a short distance from the crash reported shortly after midnight on 4th Street. A witness said the suspect and passenger had walked away from the vehicle following the crash.

Police said Mendez smelled of alcohol and admitted to drinking and driving. The young man was on active probation for DUI and was driving on a suspended license, police said.

Officials determined his blood-alcohol level was 0.16%, twice the legal limit in California.

Mendez was arrested on suspicion of DUI, hit and run, and driving on a suspended license. Police said he was also arrested on suspicion of threatening officers with bodily harm. He was booked into Sonoma County Jail.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or On Twitter @pressreno.

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